How to Tune a Lyre?

- Apr 09, 2019-

Lyres is a stringed instrument known since the earliest civilization. The ancient Greeks and Romans played the lyre. After the fall of Rome, the instruments were welcomed by the Celts and Germanic tribes in Europe.


The strings are technically different from the harp in that the strings are parallel to the soundboard rather than perpendicular.


Adjusting a lyre is basically simple, but for beginners, both technology and adjustment options can be confusing. These instructions apply primarily to 6-string Anglo-Saxon (or “Germanic”) strings, but also to other ukuleles, 5-string Finnish or Russian gusle and other similar instruments.


Create the basic keys for your lyre. Adjust your lowest string until it is tight enough to produce a clear note with little or no hum, but not so tight that it feels about to burst.


Now, choose an adjustment that suits your needs, but convert (if needed) the keys to your lyre. That is, if your deepest string is comfortable at “G”, then the CD equivalent of the CDEFGA adjustment will be GABCDE.


Lyre Harp 7 String Musical Instrument Harp


If you have a modern metal guzheng nail, just turn them with the peg button to tighten. If you have a friction pin (traditional wooden or bone conical nail), carefully but firmly push it toward the beam while turning, otherwise the nail will slide after you let go. If you can’t turn the hook and let it stop, please google “peg dope” to find out what material to use to change the grip of the hook.


To click on the tuning notes you choose, beginners may want to use an online tuner or a semitone tuner or tuner app purchased on the smartphone on their smartphone. If your interval is good, you can also tune through your ears.


Learn that most tuneres are tuned by the “Equal Temperament”, a modern way of tuning that sounds great on any key, but doesn’t sound perfect in any key. Since the strings usually play time in only one key, consider adjusting to “Just Intonation” based on the key pitch of your lyre. Some better smartphone tuners can choose to tune through JI (make sure to specify the main tone of the instrument on which all tunings are based).



Edit by Bonnie

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